Ever since the idea of an extra day every four years was implemented as a corrective measure for the calendar, it has been filled with traditions and superstitions. One of these is the (shocking!) idea that a woman may propose to a man on February 29th (or anytime during a Leap Month or even the whole Leap Year), instead of the other way around.
The origin of this tradition is murky. There is an Irish legend...Read More
Some words wear a patina of history that make them appear to have been around forever. Others, like "skyscraper," seem inherently modern, embodying the age which first saw the buildings they describe. By complete accident, while looking at an early 19th-century log book in the papers of Philadelphia physician and botanist, William Darlington, we recently stumbled across the word "skyscraper" in a very different context.
In fact, while our contemporary usage dates from about 1883, it is one of many according...Read More
This post was written by Samantha Walsh, Reference Assistant in the Department of Prints, Photographs & Architectural Collections
On September 9, 1828, a member of the Townsend family attended a tea auction at Lippincott & Richards auction house in Philadelphia. While the purchase of tea by a New York merchant is not surprising, I was intrigued to find that the auction catalog, which was found in the Townsend Papers, lists many green teas. It appears that the...Read More
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